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Ex-speaker’s PAC spending remains under wraps

Ex-speaker's PAC spending remains under wraps
September 4, 2012 --

Sept. 4, 2012 — Glenn Richardson walked away from the Georgia Legislature with $220,000 in campaign funds to spend with little oversight. More than 2 1/2 years later, as he plans a run for the state Senate, he still hasn’t officially disclosed what he’s done with it. The former speaker of the House assures me, though, that he hasn’t taken a penny for himself. “I have received no checks from that,” said Richardson.

Why do politicians give each other campaign cash?

Why do politicians give each other campaign cash?
March 14, 2011 --

March 14, 2011 — Georgia’s ethics reformers have a bill to push, but they’ll be pushing uphill if they want to restrict politicians giving large sums to each other, a practice sometimes described as “empire-building.” A case in point? Three top Senate Republicans, as they maneuvered to strip Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle last year of some of his power, donated $45,000 to 12 Senate freshmen. Caucus Chair Bill Cowsert said the contributions were part of his obligation as a party leader, not an effort to sway votes.

Ralston campaign’s $137K take nears Richardson’s pre-session total

Ralston campaign's $137K take nears Richardson's pre-session total
April 7, 2010 --

State Rep. David Ralston’s campaign raised $137,750 in less than a month after Republicans chose him to be speaker of the House, disclosure reports show. He had less than half the fund-raising time as his predecessor, Glenn Richardson, before his first legislative session as speaker, but Ralston nearly reached Richardson’s total of $149,920. The most generous donors to Ralston: hospitals and the health care industry.

Rep. taped talks with university over job status of ex-girlfriend

Rep. taped talks with university over job status of ex-girlfriend
December 19, 2009 --

Rep. Mark Butler secretly taped conversations with University of West Georgia officials after they fired a lobbyist who was his former girlfriend, the Carrollton Times-Georgian reports. Butler later called the university to complain, telling a secretary that her boss “had just pissed off the whole political party firing Erin. This includes Speaker of the House, Rules Chairman and Senate.”